Monday, 18 June 2012

Annecy Animation Festival 2012

This year myself, 3 friends and my fiancé travelled to Annecy in France for their annual animation festival, which was fantastic! I cannot recommend it more to animation lovers and animators pursuing a career in animation!

From pouring rain to sweltering hot! It was like we never left Wales!

As poor students, we were only camping there, which meant we managed to get soaked and sunburnt in the same week (or day, even!) thanks to highly sporadic weather, but the place is beautiful and the work was fantastic.

Arrugas (Wrinkles)
Particular works of mention were the features; Arrugas (Wrinkles) a hauntingly touching film about growing old with Alzheimer's, Approved for Adoption about a Korean boy adopted into a Belgian family and the difficulties with fitting in, Zarafa a 2D film about an African boy traveling across Europe to save a baby giraffe and A Letter to Momo which is Production I.G.'s most recent feature about a girl and her mother learning to cope with the loss of their father and husband respectively (with added supernatural demons).

Hi-no-youjin (Combustible)
The shorts; Tram, a hilarious film about female sexual frustration, The People Who Never Stop a lovely film about the effects of the Japanese disaster last year, Le Jardin Enchanté a cute musical about a down-to-earth hippy and a tech-savvy guy who don't get along, Chinti, a sweet mixed-medium film about an ant who wants to visit the Taj Mahal, Father about a handful of children in different mediums who share their experiences with their fathers, Pythagasaurus a funny CG Aardman film about cavemen and their encounter with maths, Hi-no-youjin (Combustible) a beautifully detailed and ornate story about a brother and sister who are forced into social roles, Paso Doble a wonderfully animated sequence between a dancer and a bull and The Making of Longbird, a British 'making of' film documenting the restoration and remake of an old animation that turns into hilarious banter between a paper cut-out longbird with a Russian accent and it's creator... just to name a few!!

There were of course more films that we didn't even get to see and then countless CalArts and Irish screenings showing fantastic films throughout the years. It was a fantastic event. The only downsides, were, as students, the exclusivity of some of the events. The Making of Brave, Wreck-it-Ralph and the premiere of Paperman were either invite-only or so limited to seating that you had to be at the front of the queue to even get in. For the Making of Brave, we stood in a queue for 2 hours only to discover that there were only 30 tickets available for students, 22 of which were already reserved so at least 100 people were queueing for only 8 tickets!

The DIsney Booth!
Fortunately our day at the Disney booth at the Mifa building completely made up for our disappointments. We spent the whole day speaking with real Disney animators, concept artists, story artists and talent seekers. Their talks were fantastic and we got amazing one-on-one sessions with them afterwards to look at our portfolios. Unfortuantely I didn't have much to show but it was still an unmissable event and I'll never forget it! I'm going to try submitting my portfolio too so you never know!

A life drawing of me and my fiancé that filmmaker Jake Nelson did at the same time that I was drawing him! I clearly wasn't being as secretive as I thought
The whole experience was amazing, the food was great, the gorgeous book shops, the atmosphere and place, the films and the people! You never know who you might bump into: we shared a taxi to Annecy with the lovely Shelley Page from Dreamworks without realising it (unbelievable!) and Peter Lord from Aardman was on our flight back to Bristol--three seats in front of me!

Me and Pascal Campion!
My friend Bryony and I also bought art books by the incredible Pascal Campion who was doing a book signing at the festival. He did marvelous pen and ink drawings in our books and was such a lovely and charming guy to talk to. Hope I get to meet him again one day!

My Annecy swag!
Pascal's drawing of his family at a Caribbean beach!
Pascal's drawing of his family at a Caribbean beach!
My friends and I hope to go again next year, cannot wait! :D ... As long as we don't have to camp again, ha ha!